The eye of the Bangla Tigers

Source | khaleejtimes Nov 24, 2019

The Tigers emerged as one of the dark horses of the competition along with the Qalandars, to make it to the playoffs.

Like the Qalandars, the story of the Bangla Tigers has been nothing short of a fairytale. They rebranded franchise and under new ownership, the team with the Bangladesh flavour, punched above their weight as they finished third in the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 League.

The Tigers emerged as one of the dark horses of the competition along with the Qalandars, to make it to the playoffs.

But their amazing run, unfortunately came to an end after they lost to the Deccan Gladiators in the Eliminator.

Coming as it did that they couldn’t call on the services of Bangladesh players as the tournament coincided the Bangladesh’s tour of India, and Pakistan players, who were denied NOCs by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), what the Bangla Tigers managed to do was remarkable.

Add to the fact that unlike other teams, who plumped for big names as their coaching staff, the Tigers had former Bangladeshi internationals Aftab Ahmed and Nafees Iqbal, who is the elder brother of opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, as coach and manager respectively.

What they have done, with no superstars in the team, is even more commendable.

And South African all-rounder Robbie Frylinck said so too.

“It has been fantastic. Obviously, I met some of them in the BPL (Bangladesh Premier League) this year. But it is just like our team has got decent cricketers, we don’t have the world beaters, we don’t have your icon players and stuff like that,” said Frylinck.

“Our team is so gelled, well gelled together, we are enjoying everyone’s company, the support staff has been fantastic. Again, there’s not much time, no trainings, none of that. We had a few days of training where they gave us what we needed. And now, we are pretty much one big team. The support staff, coaching staff, the guys that aren’t getting a run and the 11 guys on the park, we all are gelling really well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera, who led the team outstanding well, paid tribute to his teammates, especially the coaching staff.

“I want to thank everyone because they have worked hard during the tournament. They have given their 200 percent to the team. Even during the practice sessions, everyone gave it their all. As a manager, Nafees is doing a big job. He has had a lot to do before and during the competition and he has done that admirably well. He’s been fantastic as a manager,” said Perera.